There’s a new restaurant on the downtown strip of Granby called Green House Kitchen. It’s only been open for a little over a month and I already believe it is one of the best restaurants in Norfolk. Not only do I love that they are bringing salads and healthy eating to the forefront, but they’re already evolving with their customer base.
On visit #2, I had the luck of having their most passionate server give me some of their back story. Owned by the same couple that brought us Grilled Cheese Bistro right next door, they get all their meats and produce from Arlington NC, fresh as a daisy and never frozen. While this time I can’t tell you in painstaking detail about how great their meats taste because I decided to give up meat two months ago (well except for that time I had some turkey at Friends Thanksgiving, and then again at Real Thanksgiving, then Christmas roast and then last week when I JUST NEEDED SOME FREAKING MEAT!!!), I’ve taken quite a few friends and coworkers, who have all ooohed and ahhhed when eating said meat that makes me believe it is, indeed, as delicious as our waitress claims. But what speaks even more volumes about this restaurant is that I, in no way shape or form, had plate envy from watching them ohh and ahh over their meat filled salads because I was equally as transfixed by my vegetarian Mayan Salad.
In the month and a half this place has been open, I have eaten there no less than five times. This may sound like a lot but it is actually a very disappointing far cry from the proclamation made by me and my coworker on our first visit. “Oh my God, this is fantastic; we should eat here every single day!” was her suggestion after devouring a spoonful of their Winter Veggie soup; my eager confirmation of “Holy crap, yes please!” came after a mere nibble on one of their homemade croutons.
By now I’ve had a few of their salads, and The Mayan is by far my favorite by a long shot. The Mayan comes with black beans, cauliflower and a tomatillo dressing that was light and tangy tasting, and they always give you a side of their homemade croutons with your order of soup or salad. Actually, I think I need to stop for a minute and describe these croutons. I think that’s the real reason The Mayan is my favorite salad; it goes best with their croutons. Really when you break it down, what I’m ordering is a bowl full of croutons with a Mayan salad on the side. These croutons are so amazing they are the perfect amount of salty and savory and there is something about the tartness of the tomatillo dressing that brings out the richness of these croutons. In fact, I’m sure this balance can only come from being cooked in most likely some sort of meat broth but I will not dare ask because if this is confirmed and I find out I can’t eat them I will break down in tears. Actually I probably won’t since I already listed above several examples of my lack of self control when it comes to food. Instead, I will probably just keep eating them but be racked with guilt the entire time, and as I said before I prefer my croutons with a side of The Mayan, not guilt.
Their Winter Veggie soup special was a fabulous veggie broth bowl that came with cut up sprouts, avocado, onions and crumbly cheese on the side to add as little or a much as you like, which means of course that we poured every single spec of it into the bowl and dug in like two people who haven’t seen food in a week.
I will admit that my very first visit I found the selection of salads without meat a little less to be desired and vegan options A LOT be desired because there were ZERO. On my second visit I started getting into the soups, which always have a vegan or vegetarian option, and on my third I found out they are more than willing to work with me on subbing out meat for other options. My last visit is when I learned that people are starting to voice their opinion on the lack of vegan and vegetarian options and get this: THE RESTAURANT IS RESPONDING TO IT. I even saw a few tofu options pop up on Facebook. Can I get a hallelujah?
So now that I’ve gotten distracted by the delicious pictures on their Facebook page, I think it’s time to turn off the never ending Trump/Ted Cruz/Hillary/Feel the Bern loop, pull on my snow boots (or is it sun dress today?) and see if I can get me another bowl of croutons over at The Green House Kitchen. Maybe this time I’ll try them with a side of their Gelato? Yum!